Join us as we’re Standing Ready.

Welcome to Standing Ready episode 3: “The Academic Advancement.” This episode focuses on 75 years of VHA’s affiliation with the nation’s medical schools. Through this historic collaboration, VA has become the largest single provider of medical training in the country. Seventy percent of all doctors receive their training from VA hospitals.

In this episode

In this episode, we meet with Dr. Murray Levin, the chief of the Division of Nephrology and Hypertension. He also was chief of medical services at the VA Lakeside Hospital in Chicago before joining Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

Levin recalls his early days in the 1950s as a medical school resident in a VA hospital. He shares his insights about the partnership between Northwestern and VA during his time there. Northwestern was the first university to partner with a VA hospital in 1946.

We are joined later in the episode by Dr. Andrea Birnbaum, the associate chief of staff for education at the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center. Birnbaum is an expert on Northwestern’s current relationship with VA. She shares insights on innovations in medical teaching and how COVID 19 has impacted academic affiliations.

Join Delacenserie and Spitler for this episode and past episodes of Standing Ready, a podcast that elevates and highlights the significant contributions of the nation’s largest health care system through a historical lens.


Katie Delacenserie is the historian for the Veterans Health Administration.

Share this story

Published on May. 7, 2021

Estimated reading time is 1.2 min.

Views to date: 157

More Stories

  • Houston VA swore in new honorary police chief 10-year-old DJ Daniel who is battling terminal spinal and brain cancer. “Welcome aboard, Chief.”

  • Navy Veteran Jesse Allison Linam was a chief fire controlman during WWII in the South Pacific from 1940 to 1946. He receives care at the new Texarkana CBOC.

  • New genetic research discoveries may one day help doctors better screen Veterans at risk of suicide and prevent it in the first place.